Local News

Report: Ashes in yard waste sparked Durham house fire

Posted May 10

— Ashes from a grill that had not completely cooled sparked the fire Tuesday that damaged a Durham home, a fire department spokesman said.

A Durham police officer on his lunch break spotted smoke coming from 503 Valleymede Drive and was the first to report the fire. Durham police Cpl. Dante Ferrell was able to save the homeowners' dog, but the home sustained significant damage.

Deputy Fire Chief Christopher Iannuzzi said the homeowner put ashes from the grill in a container with yard waste where they ignited.

"The homeowner felt the ashes in the morning and thought they were cool, but ashes may seem cool on the surface and still be hot in the center," Iannuzzi said.

"This type of fire is not uncommon. We have five to 10 such fires each year in Durham."

Iannuzzi recommended that ashes always be stored in a metal container with a metal lid.

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